Political interference continues in KP education dept

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Political interference in the affairs of education department has not stopped yet despite claims by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government to the contrary, according to official sources.

The officials in the Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department and Higher Education Department and academicians in their background interviews painted a bleak picture of the political interference in their department. Such interference by the elected representatives, particularly PTI leaders, could be seen in the secretariat of the both education departments, directorates of E&SE and HED, district education offices, and educational institutions, the sources said.

They said that the most recent example in this regard was the transfer of principal of the Government College, Peshawar, Dr Alamzaib Khan for not giving admission to the candidates recommended by the PTI MPAs in first year class of intermediate level. The admission process was completed in Sept 2013.

The sources said that the principal was punished for awarding admission to the students on merit. Dr Alamzaib had assumed the office of principle of the college on March 18, 2013. He was posted as principal with a vision to regain the college’s lost glory, the sources claimed, adding that with his transfer the college was deprived of a good administrator and academician.

A lot of additional admissions were given to students in the tenure of the Awami National Party-led government on the recommendations of the MPAs from Peshawar affecting studies of the students due to overcrowding of classrooms, they said.

Around 3,336 students were given admission in the academic year 2012-13 against the capacity of 1960 students in the first year of FA/FSc and computer science subject, they said.

The sources said that cheating in examinations and students’ misbehaviour with teachers was a common practice in the college, adding that later under the supervision of Dr Alamzaib admissions were given on merit, students unions were disarmed and cheating in examinations eliminated.

In another instance, District Education Officer (male), Peshawar, Abdul Basit was transferred a few months ago because he had refused to order appointments on the recommendations of local MPAs. Similarly, a group of MPAs had approached the minister for E&SE Department for posting of a senior official in the district education office, Peshawar.

The official sources said that the MPAs had been using the party letterhead for recommending their blue-eyed persons for postings and transfers.

When contacted, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Department Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said that there was no interference of the MPAs in the education department. About the transfer of Dr Alamzaib, he said that complaints of irregularities in admissions were received against him. He said that an inquiry had been launched against the principal.

However, sources in the HED said that the entire admission process in the Government College, Peshawar, was based on merit and done transparently, but there were some doubts concerning admissions on sports quota.

Dr Alamzaib, when contacted, rejected the charge of irregularities in the admissions on sports quota. “In 10 of the 12 categories of games, the college stood first and got trophies while in the remaining two games, it was the runner-up in the recent inter-college tournament,” he said. He said that the sports quota admissions were made on merit and that was why the college won most of the tournaments.

Source: Dawn News.